Thursday, July 16, 2009

Climate Induced Conflict Already Occuring

Last week, in Ghana, President Barack Obama mentioned climate change's connection to conflict in his speech. He said:
Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources, and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and more conflict.
The conditions for conflict, have already started to occur. The BBC reported that 70,000 people were displaced in Ethiopia because of a conflict between the Oromo ethnic group and the Somalis over the location of a drill for water. Qeerransoo Biyyaa, an Oromo journalist, praises Obama's speech for identifying the link between climate and conflict. He argues that, "symbols and images of the harsh effects of climate change should rather be diversified than just be restricted to cultures that have polar bears and ice." Policymakers and people being affected by climate change are finally beginning to understand how it creates the conditions for conflict. The harder part will be to prevent those conditions from getting worse.

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